MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA) and the National Coast Watch have recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to enhance maritime security by using space science and technology applications (SSTA) such as satellites.
PhilSA Director General Joel Joseph Marciano and National Coast Watch Center Director Roy Echeverria, along with other officials, inked the deal through a virtual ceremony on January 19.
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The MOU allows for the exchange of information and capacity-building between the two agencies on harnessing SSTA for better maritime response, security and domain awareness.
“Indeed, if one goal is to be able to watch over our coastlines, coastal areas and coastal resources, then the vantage point of outer space is becoming invaluable and indispensable,” Marciano said in an emailed statement on Friday.
Aside from augmenting the capabilities of the Coast Watch, the partnership will also equip PhilSA with tools and other valuable information related to maritime domain awareness, according to Echeverria.
“With the use of SSTA, our ‘eyes in the sky’ can help enhance our surveillance, assessment, and monitoring capabilities for sovereign waters and will complement efforts on the ground,” PhilSA Chief Science Research Specialist Edgar Violan told Philstar.com.
He added: “The data sourced from our satellites may be developed further into data products that may give us information on the presence of ships near our islands and coastal areas, the assessment of infrastructure during construction or after disasters, and even the monitoring of our marine environment, among others,” Violan said.
Led by the Coast Guard, the National Coast Watch is an inter-agency maritime surveillance and coordinated response center.
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